Oct 31, 2013

For the love of libraries

Last weekend found us road-tripping to Kenton County; this Library was celebrating its renovation and we were determined to be there.
You see, Ben had been commissioned to draw several pieces of art that were to be featured in the Young Adult and Manga rooms of the library. We were really excited when he got the job, and I was of course proud of his work when he showed me the finished pieces, but the experience being there? Incredible.

This library has been undergoing renovation for a long time, but even knowing that, I wasn't sure what to expect. A little celebration? Sure. Some recognition of the hard work that was contributed? Of course. But what we saw - what we experienced, were people in the community who helped, who participated, and who simply wanted to be there a part of it. It was amazing.
Before I get into anything else, let me just take a minute to tell you AWESOME this library is. (No really - at one point I asked if I could live there). It's three floors, it's spacious, and has a place for everyone. There are tables with outlets in the middle for laptops or chargers, a ridiculous amount of computer, quiet rooms, plenty of seating, and even though it's big, it still manages to be cozy.
Oh, and did I mention there's a drive-through window? You reserve something online, it goes right to the desk at the window so you can pick it up with ease later on. If I hadn't already fallen in love with this place that sealed the deal.

You know I can get emotional at libraries - they can change lives - but this wasn't a tearing up kind of emotion. This was energetic, excited, and celebratory - everyone seemed so happy to be there!

And Ben? Oh. My heart couldn't have been prouder.

His work was blown up and put onto big window shades in the Teen Space and Manga Rooms of the library. He incorporated historical buildings from the city into some of the pieces and seeing them almost larger than life? Well, let me just show you.
Yes - he DREW those!
Depending on which side of the library you walk up to, his artwork is the first thing you see!
There were several ribbon-cutting ceremonies that day, but one specifically for the Teen Space, which Ben participated in. They asked him to give a little speech afterwards (haha, something he was not expecting), and after that he signed posters of his prints for kids and adults alike, as well as sitting down and drawing with people for awhile.
The manga room
I know my husband is talented - I'll be the first one to tell you. But hearing people - strangers who were seeing these pieces for the first time - come up and compliment him on his work? I was grinning all day long.
It was a great weekend, and an incredible way to celebrate with the community. I'm so grateful we could be there.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

This is so so cool! You should be so proud of Ben as he is so talented and it's nice to see that talented recognized by others! What a cool library, though. I love those cozy booths and the drive-up window is super convenient!

a/k/a Nadine said...

What an awesome experience! His artwork is fantastic.

Also, so jealous of the drive-through window. I wonder if I could suggest that at my library... ;-)

Caiti said...

That is so cool that Ben's artwork gets to be in such an awesome space, and he is indeed super talented!

Stephany said...

That is just so, so cool! His artwork is crazy good. I can tell how stinking proud you are of him through this post. I love it. :)

Also, my old library had a drive-through window and it is the BEST THING EVER. You could do EVERYTHING from there - request books, pick up books, drop off books, pay fines. Ugh. I loved it. So convenient!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow, absolutely amazing- you should be so proud of Ben, his work is taking over the library, I love it!

That library does look super cool. I love unique libraries. In college my favorite library was really similar to a church, it was the best place to study ever. Apparently people now are calling it the "Harry Potter" library, ha ha.

Amanda said...

As the granddaughter of a librarian, libraries have a soft spot in my heart. And WOW! His work is gorgeous!

Amber said...

Yay! Congrats to Ben! That is so fantastic. Good for him. I'm glad you guys could be there for it as well.

The drive thru window would MAKE MY LIFE. I am so lazy and sometimes I just don't pick up my books because I don't want to find parking and then go in (I drive by the library all the time in my every day life though).

Nora said...

YAY FOR BURRITO BEN! This is awesome in every single way possible =)

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